International beauty show
Beauticians and victims in period costume, belly dancers, pop-up 50’s carhops with rollerskating cosmeticians and people gyrating on stilts with bouffants: You got it, the International Beauty Show NY (IBSNY) was back in town. IBSNY’s festive beauty circus rolled back into Javits on 3/4-11 with the theme “Be Inspired” providing more theatrical set-ups and workshops than ever before.
IBSNY was overflowing with the best heads in the beauty industry. Long restroom lines even at the “secret” ones, were a wet mark on the show. However, we used time productively to interview attendees, like Eileen from London Spa in NJ, who was excited to attend IBSNY‘s business classes held in conjunction with the show.
Redken’s return to the show was the big news in the main IBS show. It’s a good sign that after a disappointing 2013, IBS is back on top. Redken was showing off their new Flex Collection and Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer & 2 Day Extender.
Hair business is flourishing with many developments previewed at the show. Announced hair trends into 2014 are “unrefined, slightly disheveled looks that showcase natural textures…waif-like shapes, understated elegance” and modern romantic styles such as braids and chignons embellished with flowers and headbands. Also on the radar, dry cutting and the wet look are in style.
Hair extensions continue to grow with the biggest news being substantive improvements in the quality of synthetic hair. Everyone apparently wants Oscar red-carpet-ready hair. While synthetics still don’t stand up equally to human Remy hair, they have come a long way. If any synthetic companies out there beg to differ, I challenge them to a match up.
To create all the Lana Del Ray old style Hollywood hair glamour, tools are essential and stylists were snapping them up up at the show.
Nails are clawing their way to the top of IBSNY. Formerly a small subset of the IBS show, nail companies have hammered out a definitive section of the show real-estate, and business is booming. Expect nails to continue their scratch to the top with nail art tumblers and every color Beyonce or Michelle Obama wear named in press releases. Pastels (Mint) are having a moment, but it doesn’t stop at color. Gels are now beyond gels with efforts to improve performance and efficiency and reduce toxins, while nail art has elevated to 3-D effects on ten digit sculptures. Orly International stole the spotlight with their brilliant colors and glitter-littered polishes. In regard to nail care, Korean company, Mizon stood out with hypnotic colors and their All In One Snail Healing Cream. It’s more effective than gross.
Off to the south side, The International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference (IECSC) provided a crowded but still comparative respite to the madness in the main area.
All products covered in the following section are paraben and sulfate free. They might not care about the health risks of these chemicals in Europe, as one French line told us, but the US does. Who needs the liability and damage to one’s reputation?
Repechage mounted a huge display at the show’s front. Known for founder, Lydia Sarfati’s 4-layer facials, Repechage is well established, with a reputation for excellent quality and ground-breaking treatments based on seaweed products. No less than 20 different seaweeds are utilized by Repechage to enhance skincare. Constant research and product innovation resulted in their Hydra Medic line for acne prone skin and their Biolight line for sun damaged skin: best sellers include their package of 100 disposable masks and the 4-layer facial. I’m looking forward to trying Repechage’s thalassotherapy Seaweed Body Contouring Mask.
Natural product brand development is a thriving area with improvements in quality and technical adaptions improving on nature. A standout in this area is David Vargas, who began as a farmer in sunny California before launching his cosmeceutical line, Lumavera. Lumavera utilizes various organic plant cocktails, with ingredients like broccoli, kale, tomato, carrot, onions, grape seed, licorice root, and so on- all inspired by Vargas’ mother’s herbal treatments he observed and used while growing up in Mexico and California. One potion is VitaVeggie Hi Active. It’s basically a V-8 for your face but involves stem cell technology. He’s got a delicious sounding one of mushrooms, vitamin C, cactus and seaweed too. No plant benefit gets by him! We tested Lumavera’s Oxygenating Masque and felt the pleasant tingle of hopeful, misspent sun-worshipping youth rolling back, which we followed with the Anti-Aging Serum (I think this product deserves a more distinctive name.) Both products get good marks, first for their high-quality packaging in airless pump canisters that prolong product integrity and second for the results we discovered within two weeks of use. Anti-aging serum absorbs quickly without leaving a grease slick on your face but still feels smooth and not taut. We have to support our nation’s farmers after all.
And so we do, as the most packed vendor at IBSNY was Farmhouse Fresh out of Texas. Even on the streets surrounding Javits, everyone seemed to have one of their bunny bags. Products like their addictive Fluffy Bunny Shea Cream and Crow Catcher Eye Perfecting Serum caused a near riot at Farmhouse Fresh’s stand. Best bets are their divinely scented, heavenly textured creams and lotions. Did we mention they are an Oprah Winfrey favorite?
Another brand tagged by Ms. O is Washington state’s Smitten. Founder Courtney Stephens is as sweet as her adorable cupcake and bake shop themed products. Girls from 3 to 72 will adore Smitten products and cupcake bath bombs. They are better than American Girl dolls with a wider demographic appeal and way more reasonable prices. When asked the effect on her small, home run business of being chosen by Oprah, Stephens said the O magazine people gave her a few weeks advance notice, and then business exploded. Stephens explained she was able to handle the resulting avalanche of orders because she owned and controlled all production in house and did not have to renegotiate with external manufacturers. At any rate we love her and her quality, sweet as sugar, products.
Somewhere in between natural and technics is Cherie Dobbs’ Dermastart, which has three sub-brands: Prana Spaeuticals, Clearchoice and Menza. Prana is the all natural spa line, which Dobbs explained, is all about “breathing life back into skin,” through all natural specially targeted biologically active formulations creating products like Reishi mushroom masques and seaweed body wraps. Clearchoice is the medi-spa, derm office line of peels and post-care products while Menza is marketed to men whose wives don’t share.
One thing lacking at IBSNY were companies with retinol products. There were a few but not enough to satisfy the demand. Miami’s Lelexo, the favorite of FashionEdits’ husband, does, though. Lelexo representative Bamby Doung showcased its products containing high concentrations of retinol, making them the ideal face and body treatments. Retinol products available in the line include A-Stem Factor and Voila Eye Cream. Making these products especially beneficial is that in addition to retinol, they contain soothing, non-reactive ingredients like grape seed, fruit stem cells and aloe to rehydrate skin- countering the one downside of retinol. So far, we have tried their hyaluronic and C product, HyDro Moisturizer. It’s proving a soothing, lightweight moisturizer that quickly penetrates skin. I prefer it as a body lotion since it hydrates but doesn’t leave skin slippery. Test rat FashionEdits‘ males like Hydro as an aftershave product.
Unabashedly using the scare tactic, Dynamis is an interesting company. Slogans like MEG21 “Stops Cell Death…” would give pause to some people and bring to mind Kevin Trudeau infomercials. The company representative explains MEG21 is actually a byproduct of Annette M. Tobia’s diabetes research at the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. She launched Dynamis upon realizing the connection between glycation and aging. Tobia recognized the possibility of delaying aging through development of a chemical compound, MEG21, branded “Supplamine.” MEG21 claims that Supplamine mimics amino acids retards sugar-related aging and cell damage. Meglumine (present in all products and the MEG behind the MEG21) and inflammation- fighting arginine are the compounds comprising Supplamine. Their literature explains MEG21 blocs fructosamine 3-kinase to help retard 3DG (3-deoxyglucosone) production. This is important, not boring. Sugar is collagen’s enemy. Apoptosis is the key word not mentioned by MEG21. We are waiting on what exact reactive pathways are involved in order to further evaluate the claims but even more excited to test the products out- particularly face and eye treatments and advanced formula. In the meantime, we continue drinking red wine and eating avocados.
For those afraid of commitment and pain, GBody Art Professionals offered amazing temporary tattoo and crystal tattoo kits. Their products are perfect for clubbing and special events. Stencils assure you can’t mess up too much, and they last a few days so you get more tat for your dollar. GBody boasts their glittery inks hold up in the shower, too.
Our aesthetician friends didn’t see any noteworthy new machines; so the search goes on for better lasers.
Nicole Peck, Executive Director of Integrated Marketing for IBSNY and IESCS, did a beautiful job this year with the show.
by: Elizabeth Maher